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Devils score 3 on power play, smash Kings

January 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Brian Rolston, Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias put the pop back in New Jersey's power play. Each scored with the man-advantage to help the New Jersey Devils beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-1 Saturday night. Jamie Langenbrunner had a goal and an assist and Devils backup goalie Kevin Weekes made 34 saves in his first start since a 4-2 loss against Buffalo on Dec. 13. First-time All-Star Zach Parise got his 100th career goal and Zajac had two assists.

Weekes lost his shutout bid with 18:43 remaining when Derek Armstrong redirected Alexander Frolov's shot from the top of the right circle. Armstrong returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 9 after missing 13 games, the last seven with a concussion.

Scott Clemmensen started the previous 13 games for New Jersey and 24 of 27 after Martin Brodeur went down with a torn biceps tendon that required surgery and will sideline him for at least another month. Clemmensen was pulled from Thursday's 4-0 home loss against Atlanta after giving up three goals on 19 shots through the first two periods.

The Devils, 5-for-36 on the power play over their previous nine games and 0-for-7 in Thursday's 4-0 loss to Atlanta, opened the scoring at 14:02 of the first while Matt Greene was off for tripping Langenbrunner.

The only other time this season that the Devils had three power-play goals was Dec. 19 in a 5-1 win over Ottawa.

Zajac won a faceoff from Michal Handzus deep in the zone and Patrik Elias made a cross-ice pass to Langenbrunner, whose long slap shot glanced off Zajac's stick and past Jonathan Quick's glove as the Devils' center skated in front of the crease.

Zajac won another faceoff from Handzus to set up New Jersey's second goal at 1:07 of the second - just 4 seconds after Sean O'Donnell was sent off for hooking Elias. The ensuing draw went right back to Elias, whose slap shot from the right point was good for his 19th goal.

Parise made it 3-0 just 71 seconds later, scoring his team-leading 23rd goal of the season on a short backhander over Quick's glove after Elias forced Greene to cough up the puck to Parise about 15 feet inside the Kings' blueline. Parise's 100th goal came in his 284th game. His father, J.P. Parise, had 89 goals through his first 288 games and finished his 14-year NHL career with 238 in 890 games.

Rolston increased New Jersey's lead to 4-1 on a slap shot from the left point with 13:31 left in the game and 6 seconds remaining on an interference penalty against Raitis Ivanans. Langenbrunner completed the scoring with 9:02 left.

Earlier Saturday, the Devils agreed in principle on a contract with unrestricted free agent Brendan Shanahan, who hasn't played since finishing last season on the other side of the Hudson River with the New York Rangers - and helping them knock New Jersey out of the playoffs in the first round. Shanahan turns 40 on Jan. 23.

Notes: Shanahan, an eight-time All-Star with 650 goals, spent his first four NHL seasons with the Devils after they made him the second overall pick in the 1987 draft. New Jersey won three Stanley Cup titles after he left the club to sign a free-agent contract with St. Louis in 1991, but Shanahan eventually won three Stanley Cup rings with Detroit. ... The Kings played 13 minutes and 4 seconds between their third and fourth shots on net. ... The Devils began a six-game trip, their longest since a season-opening 3-5-1 trip in October 2007. ... It was Rolston's 1,00th regular-season NHL game.


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